Dozens of people were killed and many more wounded today in a pair of car bombings that hit the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and the southern provincial capital of al-Bayda. Civilians were among the slain but it was unclear what the split was.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, but suspicion immediately fell on ISIS, which has launched, and bragged about, previous car bombings against Sanaa over the past few weeks, which have killed scores.
The Sanaa car bombing took place outside of a Shi’ite mosque, which has been a common target for ISIS bombings. Shi’ites are always a target among Islamist groups, but particularly in Yemen where the Shi’ite Houthis are fighting against Saudi forces.
ISIS is not believed to be a huge force inside Yemen, but is growing in influence in recent months, competing with the much larger al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to become the most influential Islamist faction inside Yemen. With backing from the parent group in Iraq and Syria, they may be able to do so.